If not for the Mahavishnu Orchestra's first album, The Inner Mounting Flame, this second, 1973 outing might well be considered the greatest of all jazz-fusion essays. If you're new to the Mahavishnu Orchestra, this is probably the best place to start, then pick up 1971's The Inner Mounting Flame.
2007 five CD set, a great installment in Sony/BMG's Original Album Classics series that brings together rare and out of print titles with some best sellers from the Sony/BMG Jazz catalog. Many of these albums have been unavailable on CD for some time and are sought after by collectors. Each set is presented in a high quality, rigid cardboard slipcase containing five 'vinyl replica' mini LP sleeves. This collection from the Jazz ensemble features the albums Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire, Between Nothingness & Eternity, Apocalypse and Visions of the Emerald Beyond.
Emboldened by the popularity of Inner Mounting Flame among rock audiences, the first Mahavishnu Orchestra set out to further define and refine its blistering jazz-rock direction in its second – and, no thanks to internal feuding, last – studio album. Although it has much of the screaming rock energy and sometimes exaggerated competitive frenzy of its predecessor, Birds of Fire is audibly more varied in texture, even more tightly organized, and thankfully more musical in content. A remarkable example of precisely choreographed, high-speed solo trading – with John McLaughlin, Jerry Goodman, and Jan Hammer all of one mind, supported by Billy Cobham's machine-gun drumming and Rick Laird's dancing bass – can be heard on the aptly named "One Word," and the title track is a defining moment of the group's nearly atonal fury. The band also takes time out for a brief bit of spaced-out electronic burbling and static called "Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love." Yet the most enticing pieces of music on the record are the gorgeous, almost pastoral opening and closing sections to "Open Country Joy," a relaxed, jocular bit of communal jamming that they ought to have pursued further.
Billy Cobhams powerful and complex drumming has exerted a strong influence on jazz and jazz fusion since the seventies when he performed on groundbreaking recordings by Miles Davis (Jack Johnson) and The Mahavishnu Orchestra (The Inner Mounting Flame and others).
His excellent new CD “Palindrome” is Billy’s re-engagement with his own music from that time and the years that followed. Billy Cobham’s 2nd installment in the “Fruit From
The Loom” series is set to be released in March 2010 through his new record company BHM Productions.
Inner Worlds is an album by the Mahavishnu Orchestra. It's the group's fifth studio album. In 1975, violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and keyboardist Gayle Moran left the band. Also, all string and horn accompaniments the group used on its previous album, Visions of the Emerald Beyond, were dismissed. Stu Goldberg was brought in as a replacement for Moran, and then the album was recorded. This would be the last album by the Mahavishnu Orchestra for nearly ten years, when leader and guitarist John McLaughlin re-formed the group in 1984. The Mahavishnu Orchestra was a jazz-rock fusion group, led by John McLaughlin, that debuted in 1971 and dissolved in 1976 and reunited briefly from 1984 to 1987.